Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Likely the most significant player in the RAM game has come out with a newer series of modules, which fits the mold of the Flare X of DDR3 days, wherein AMD systems are what these DIMMs are tuned to be used with. That is not to say they will not work on Intel systems, just that they should work better with AMD than many of the sticks which boast only XMP 2.0 compatibility. While in our own testing, we have had reasonably good luck with the RAM we can run on our X570 motherboard, where it appears only the older Hynix chips caused us issues. However, with as finicky as we have seen some motherboards be with various memory kits through multiple forums, we are all for any advantage to the general public on eliminating compatibility issues right out of the gate!
Borrowing their looks from the already established TridentZ lineup of products, the NEO kits show two differences to the regular TridentZ RGB kits. The more obvious of the two is that G.Skill paints the word NEO on the heat spreaders, just below the typical TridentZ naming. The other difference is that the angled tops of the heat spreaders, only the tallest ones, are exposed metal rather than being painted as all the rest have been. Selections are vast, as even just within the 3600MHz kits, we have five options! You can find CL14 kits that need 1.40V to run, and there are two CL 16 kits, one with straight timings which we have, and another that has 16-19-19 timings, both requiring 1.35V to run.
Another option is to go with CL18 sticks using 1.35V, or there is yet another CL14 kit, but it needs 1.45V to run the XMP and DOCP profiles. While there are many choices, we have seen reviews out in the wild using Hynix ICs for those kits with odd timings, and those requiring a lot of voltage to match other similar kits. Like ours, we believe it is only the F4-3600C14D-16GTZN and the F4-3600C16D-16GTZN we have that use Samsung B-die under the hood.
This memory, being only the second kit so far that we have tested with an AMD Ryzen icon on the box, we are hoping that these do as well, if not better than the Patriot Viper 4 Blackout Edition we last tested. With its lesser timings, it only makes sense that the NEO should offer a nice bump in performance, and we plan to find out! What might be a tad shocking to most, is that not only is the G.Skill TridentZ NEO impressive for AMD and our 3900X but with our Intel testing, we found there was room left in the tank to squeeze out even more! For those that love the look of the TridentZ RGB already, the newer TridentZ NEO will be a welcome addition to any AMD or Intel-based system.
Within the chart we used, taken from the F4-3600C16D-GTZN product page, we find the information listed to be straight forward, to the point, and delivers just about anything you would need to know. At the top, we see that this is DDR4, and the kit we have is a pair of 8GB sticks for a total of 16GB of density in this dual-channel kit. Ours is shown to run at 3600MHz using 16-16-16-36 1T timings and sticks to 1.35V to power them. It is unbuffered, it does not error check, but we are shown the 2133MHz and 1.20V required for them to boot with the SPD profile. There are no fans included, but there is a limited lifetime warranty backing these sticks. They come with an XMP 2.0 profile, which our X570 board reads as DOCP, and there is a notation that the XMP frequency does depend on the motherboard capabilities, as well as the memory controllers.
One thing not mentioned is that while G.Skill does offer TridentZ Family Lighting Control Software that is downloadable, most would instead opt to match the motherboard RGB lighting these days. On-site, as well as on the packaging, G.Skill does make sure we know that MSI Mystic Light Sync, ASUS Aura Sync, and GIGABYTE RGB Fusion are all cable of delivering full control of the RGB lighting found in the NEO series. Another thing not mentioned is the height of the sticks. Still, they match to anything else in the TridentZ lineup at 43.7mm, which should not cause much of a clash between it and any CPU air cooler that offers and sort of design implementation for memory clearance. However, if populating all of the memory slots, you may still block some of the RGB goodness.
Pricing certainly varies between all of the 3600MHz TridentZ NEO kits, starting at around $100 and increases on up to $194.20 for the F4-3600C16D-16GTZN kits we have, on Amazon. Judging off past TridentZ kits and the prices they released at, this is not that much of a surprise, but there are better deals to be had! Another thing that is a turn off to the Amazon listings is that neither Amazon nor G.Skill is listed as sellers, it is a list of third-party retailers looking to profit as much as possible. If you shop at Newegg, you can save a fair bit of cash, as the same exact kit is listed there for just $159.99 with Newegg registered as the seller! As to comparison shopping, the only other kit with 3600MHz and CL16 timings that are more affordable are the 16-19-19 TridentZ NEO kits, as far as anything with RGB lighting that is.
As for non-RGB lit kits, they start at around $100, and just so happens that they are all RipjawsV kits, with much less heat spreader and with looser timings. Head to head, and the comparable CL 16 straight timing kit is $124.99. So, for a much nicer aesthetic and RGB, it is only a $35 step up! We think the proof is in the pudding, and once you see how the TridentZ NEO wrecks the competition in the vast majority of the benchmarks, its worth is definitely justified!